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Touchdown! Florida Gators get gigabit broadband.

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Residents of a small section of Gainesville, Fla. will get a gigabit network thanks to the GigU project that wants to deliver fiber to the home to areas around U.S. colleges and universities. GRUCom, a multi-service utility owned by the City of Gainesville, said Monday it would work with the GigU people and the University of Florida to build a network in an area known as Innovation Square. The project is an interesting one because it shows the promise and the limitations of what the GigU guys are trying to accomplish.

Residents and business in a roughly 12-block area will get the possibility of gigabit networks and prices for the service will start at $99 for a 50 Mbps connection. Those wanting more can contact GRU for personalized pricing plans. The university will offer labs and students faster connections on campus, but that gigabit connection isn’t going to be in most people’s price range. However, for a limited area the infrastructure will be there for when the costs of a gig drop.

And that is the promise of building out these networks. Despite the small area, letting colleges get on superfast networks without worrying about capacity constraints mean that the next Facebook or Skype could come out of a GigU supported dorm room. So yes, while the current connectivity is limited in availability and pricey, it also could prime the pump for new businesses and the next generation demand for broadband.

6 Responses to “Touchdown! Florida Gators get gigabit broadband.”

    • Lawrence- Many off-campus student housing complexes in Gainesville have 50 Mbps either included in the rent or for just $25 a month. How anyone can possibly use that much bandwidth, I’m not sure….But the students will find a way!
      Glad to hear there’s good bandwidth in Seattle too. This kind of infrastructure will help drive whatever is next. GatorNet can dial it up to 100 Mbps since it is all fiber but there just hasn’t been a demand for it on a residential scale….yet.

  1. Tony Camilli

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a university that just eliminated its Computer Science department is putting emphasis on broadband and innovation?

    • Mark H.

      UF never had plans to eliminate its CS department. It was instead a merger between that and the Electrical Engineering department, as it is at MIT and UC-Berkeley.

      That fell through due to lack of support in the CS department and disagreements over governance. UF has a huge push for innovation, as can be seen in their new innovation square:

    • UF Info Technology

      It’s the nature of university funding — Innovation Square and Innovation Hub has an entrepreneurial focus and the funding, staffing, and leadership have the vision of developing the area east of campus, and luring start-ups…more than an academic focus. Different governance, different outlook, different pots of allocated sources.